Last Monday I got a call from my agent in Dallas. That’s not unusual. What is unusual is the time she called: 10:48 pm. Why so late? She didn’t get a reply from me about an audition the next day. (Maybe the email got lost on the way.) Without hesitating, I told her I would get to the audition. It’s hard to turn down one for a national union commercial.
Here’s the thing. When I hung up, I didn’t have a clue how I was going to get to the audition. For starters, the audition was at 3 pm in Dallas and I was committed to an 11 am audition in Houston. Oh, and I don’t have a car! If I did have a car, it still would have been a real challenge to get there on time, unless I could get in and out of my Houston audition in minutes.
Here’s a second issue. Taking the bus wasn’t an option due to arrival times on both Greyhound and Megabus. I would need to leave BEFORE my Houston audition time slot to get to my Dallas audition on time.
In this situation, the easy thing to do would be to decline the audition. Instead, I said yes then had to find a way to get there. In the past, I have caught a ride with other actors or taken the bus. This time would allow neither option and would push me in a new direction.
The only option for travel that came to mind was … flying. I had never flown for an audition before but fortunately I had the money in savings to get a $400 round trip ticket on Southwest. At 11:30 pm, I bought my ticket and began packing for the trip.
A 1 pm flight would get me to Dallas at 2 pm and a cab ride to the casting director’s office would cost no more than $15, including tip. I arrived early and auditioned earlier than scheduled. The Dallas actor who casting paired with me, Bob Coonrod, kindly agreed to give me a lift back to love Field so I could save a bit of cash and time returning to the airport. We even had a terrific chat about the acting in Texas.
I wouldn’t normally advocate spending so much money traveling to an audition and certainly don’t think actors should spend a lot to get to every audition. But there will come a time when you make a decision to audition for a particular project and you don’t want a single obstacle getting in your way. If your nature is to make excuses about why you can’t do something, commit to doing it first then see how much easier it becomes to make it happen once you’re truly focused on seeing it through.
Even if I don’t book this particular role, I proved to myself that I could conquer a challenge in a timely fashion. That alone is worth something. It may not feel like it’s worth the $400 I spent to fly to Dallas and back, but once again, I remind myself that acting for me is almost never about the money. It’s about taking myself (and others) to a place we desire to get to.